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Drivers Celebrate 2014 Achievements at Fonda Banquet

By RON SZCZERBA

FONDA, NY – On Friday, February 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, NY track champions and others celebrated their 2014 accomplishments at the Fonda Speedway Awards banquet. Emceed by Fonda Speedway announcers Jim King and Toby LaGrange it was the first awards banquet under the DeLorenzo Motorsports promotional banner.

After a delicious dinner was served the first awards given out were for point standings positions second through fifth in the 4-cylinder and street stock divisions and point positions second through 10th in the pro stock, sportsman, and modified divisions.

In the 4-cylinder division Kerrie Hollenback finished in the runner-up position in points in 2014 with a total of one feature win to go along with 11 top five finishes and 12 top 10 finishes. Following behind Kerrie was Keith Tesiero Sr. (one feature win, 11 top five finishes, and 11 top 10 finishes), Keith Tesiero Jr. (no feature wins, seven top five finishes, and eight top 10 finishes), and Wayne Russell (no feature wins, three top five finishes, and five top 10 finishes) who completed the top five in points.

In the street stock division John Bradt finished second in the final point standings with a total of four feature wins, 12 top five finishes, and 13 top 10 finishes and was followed in the top five by Neil Cosselman (one feature win, nine top five finishes, and 17 top 10 finishes), Wayne Rubscha (no feature wins, five top five finishes, and 16 top 10 finishes), and John Young (no feature wins, nine top five finishes, and 12 top 10 finishes).

Chuck Dumblewski finished in the runner-up position in points in the pro stock division after compiling a season total of three feature wins, 11 top five finishes, and 15 top 10 finishes during the 2014 season. Following behind Dumblewski were Kenny Gates (two feature wins, 11 top five finishes, and 16 top 10 finishes), Pete Broderson (five feature wins including the 2014 Hondo Carpenter Memorial event, 13 top five finishes, and 14 top 10 finishes), Luke Horning (two feature wins, six top five finishes, and 13 top 10 finishes), Mark Sullivan (no feature wins, two top five finishes, and seven top 10 finishes), Gus Hollner (no feature wins, no top five finishes, seven top 10 finishes, and 13 top 15 finishes), Jeff McPhail no feature wins, no top five finishes, six top 10 finishes, and 13 top 15 finishes), Jim Normoyle (one feature win, two top five finishes, and eight top 10 finishes), and Randy Cosselman (no feature wins, no top five finishes, five top 10 finishes, and 10 top 15 finishes).

Connor Cleveland finished second in points for the 2014 season in the sportsman division with one feature win (the first of his career in the division at Fonda), 10 top five finishes, and 13 top 10 finishes. Following behind Cleveland in positions three through 10 in points were Ricky Quick (no feature wins, five top five finishes, and 10 top 10 finishes), Dave Constantino (five feature wins, seven top five finishes, and 13 top 10 finishes), Adam McAuliffe (one feature win, seven top five finishes, and 13 top 10 finishes), Cody Clark (one win which was the first of his career in the division, six top five finishes, and 12 top 10 finishes), Luke Munroe (no feature wins, three top five finishes, and 10 top 10 finishes), and John McAuliffe (one feature win, four top five finishes, and 10 top 10 finishes).

There was a tie for the ninth place finish in points in the sportsman division between Jeremiah Munson who had no feature wins, four top five finishes, and 10 top 10 finishes and Tony Farone who had two feature wins, four top five finishes, and 11 top 10 finishes.

Bobby Varin finished second in the season long point standings in the modified division with a total of one feature win, 11 top five finishes, and 15 top 10 finishes. Following behind Varin in the top 10 in points were Jeremy Wilder (one feature win, 10 top five finishes, and 14 top 10 finishes), Ronnie Johnson (one feature win, five top five finishes, and 12 top 10 finishes), Bodie Bellinger (no feature wins, five top five finishes, and nine top 10 finishes), A.J. Romano (no feature wins, five top five finishes, and 12 top 10 finishes), Jeff Trombley (one feature win, four top five finishes, and nine top 10 finishes), Alton Palmer (no feature wins, two top five finishes, and eight top 10 finishes), Mark Kislowski (no feature wins, three top five finishes, and eight top 10 finishes), and Brian Gleason (no feature wins, four top five finishes, and seven top 10 finishes).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARDS HANDED OUT

The next award to be presented was to the Rookies of the Year in each division with these awards presented to Bodie Bellinger in the modified division (no feature wins, five top five finishes, and nine top 10 finishes), Michael Peek in the sportsman division (no feature wins, no top five finishes, one top 10 finish, and two top 15 finishes), Adam Warner in the pro stock division (no feature wins no top five finishes, one top 10 finish, and seven top 15 finishes), Jason Samrov in the street stock division (three feature wins, eight top five finishes, and 12 top 10 finishes), and Shawn Morrison in the 4-cylinder division (no feature wins, three top five finishes, and three top 10 finishes).

MOST IMPROVED DRIVERS HONORED

Pep Corradi was awarded the Most Improved Driver in the modified division after moving 13 positions in the point standings from 30th in 2013 to 17th in 2014. Other Most Improved drivers named were Adam McAuliffe in the sportsman division (moved 22 positions in points from 27th in 2013 to fifth in 2014), Nate Furman in the pro stock division (moved 16 positions in points from 29th in 2013 to 13 in 2014), Harold Chadderon in the street stock division (moved 15 positions in points from 23rd in 2013 to eighth in 2014), and T.J. Marlitt in the 4-cylinder division (moved seven positions in points from 15th in 2013 to eighth in 2014).

2014 TRACK CHAMPIONS COLLECT THEIR MONEY & HARDWARE

Stewart Friesen was crowned the 2014 Fonda Speedway DIRTcar Modified Track Champion for the third year in a row at Fonda in the Tadd Park’s owned #1 race car with a total of nine feature wins, 12 top five finishes, and 13 top 10 finishes.

“I want to thank Matt (DeLorenzo) and his family and staff,” Friesen said after accepting his awards. “Matt is the first promoter that I know who took problems as they came and dealt with them and all of his hard work didn’t go unnoticed. Being a promoter is much harder than it looks and we all appreciate that. I also want to thank my car owner Tadd (Parks) and my crew and team for a great season and I look forward to coming back to Fonda with them in 2015.”

Rocky Warner took home his first sportsman track championship at Fonda and is now the only driver to win track championships in three different divisions at the “Track of Champions” after winning the street stock championship in 2005 & 2007 and the pro stock championship in 2011. Warner finished the 2014 season with two feature wins, 11 top five finishes, and 15 top 10 finishes.

“I want to thank my car owners Ray and Kirsten for a great season where we were able to win four championships at Fonda, Glen Ridge, the GRIT Series, and the VP Triple Crown”, Warner said.

Nick Stone was crowned the Fonda Speedway DIRTcar Pro Stock Track Champion with a total of four feature wins, 15 top five finishes, and 16 top 10 finishes at Fonda. Stone won an overall total of 20 feature events in 2014 and was also crowned the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and DIRTcar champion in the pro stock division. Nick’s father Bill accepted the award for his son Nick who was sick at home and not able to attend the banquet.

Dave Horning Sr. was crowned as the street stock track champion for 2014 at Fonda with a total of seven feature wins, 12 top five finishes, and 15 top 10 finishes and is now a two time track champion after also winning the title back in 2006.

“We started out the year slow but after four or five weeks we were finally able to get the car right,” Horning said. “If it wasn’t for Matt (DeLorenzo) taking over Fonda as promoter we wouldn’t have even been racing there.”

Ken Hollenback was crowned as the 4-cylinder track champion for the third year in a row at Fonda (overall in 2012 and 2014 and 2013 single cam) with a total of nine feature wins, 12 top five finishes, and 12 top 10 finishes.

“It was a pretty good year,” Hollenback said. “We had about three bad weeks in a row but the rest of the season went pretty well. For 2015 we plan on running at both Fonda and Albany Saratoga.”

PROMOTER MATT DELORENZO WELCOMES EVERYONE TO THE BANQUET

Fonda Speedway promoter Matt DeLorenzo was up to the stage next and addressed the banquet crowd.

“I want to welcome everyone to the banquet and I thank everyone for coming and for your support of the Fonda Speedway,” DeLorenzo said. “Just where did I come from well in 1999 I bought a sportsman car and went racing. My parents thought that I was crazy. My first year in a sportsman I won my first career feature in the division at Fonda so the next season I moved up to the modifieds. Again my parents thought that I was crazy.”

“Timeline to 2007 when I won my first modified track championship at Fonda and then to November of 2013 when I put in a bid to promote the Fonda Speedway after seeing the decline in the facility. When the Fair Board told me that I had won the bid my parents again thought that I was crazy. This time they were right. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would one day be the promoter of a race track but after Ric Lucia turned over the keys to me at his final awards banquet in 2013 I was the new promoter of the Track of Champions.”

“I left that banquet wondering what I was thinking because there have been many sleepless nights since then and I am still trying to figure out if I am living a dream or exactly what I am doing but one thing that I have figured out is to learn from my mistakes and try my best to make the Fonda Speedway the best track around.”

“There are so many people that I need to thank including my family, my staff and sponsors at the speedway, and my marketing partners. Also I have to thank all of the fans, drivers and their crews for putting up with track conditions that were less than desirable at times last season being anywhere from smooth and dry and slick, to rough and tacky, to the mud bog and motocross track that it was at times last year. I have to thank Roger Heroux for coming on board and straightening out the track, I have learned so much from him in a short time and I look forward to working with him again this year.”

“I look forward to the upcoming car show on March 13-15 at the Rotterdam Square Mall where the printed 2015 schedule will be available and we will also be having a Pit Crew Challenge to benefit the drivers point fund. Hours for the Pit Crew Challenge will be March 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and March 14 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.”

“A couple of key changes for 2015 will be the starting time will be moved up to 6:45 p.m. on Saturday evenings and the Night of Features Championship Night will be a single race, extra distance format.”

“We have been working very closely with both the Albany Saratoga Speedway, the Lebanon Valley Speedway, and Rob Hazer to put together a sportsman and pro stock series called the King of Dirt (KoD) Series. The opening event of the KoD Sportsman Series will take place at Fonda on Saturday, April 4 which will be the 2015 season opening event at the “Track of Champions” with a 40-lap $4,000 to win event for the modifieds and warmups for all divisions also on the racing card.”

“I want to say a special thank you and recognize our marketing partners including Mark Kislowski and family with the Morris Auto Group for providing our pace truck, Alton & Carole Palmer with Palmer’s Service Center, 2RJ Ronnie Johnson with Jumpin’ Jack’s Pro Speed, Bill Lake & Bill Lake Construction Homes, Recovery Sports Grill, Collett Mechanical, Randall Implements, Gravely Tractors, Emerick Associates, Golusha & Sons, Northern Truck & Equipment, Competitive Advantage Group, Satch Sales, Architectural Glass & Mirror, A-Verdi Storage Containers, Budweiser, Pepsi, Nick & Bill Stone with Stone Motorsports, Bill McGaffin Photography, Bobco Racing Video, DIRTcar Brand, Hoosier Racing Tire, and VP Racing Fuels.”

“I also want to thank Kelly Wilder & the Wilder Family for bailing me out and bringing their fertilizer trucks to the track to help run the track in when we had a mud fest, James Hillier Sr. for coming on board to help out with marketing & advertising in 2015, Jim Raegan Karbowski-Gleason for helping with the banquet and getting the champions jackets together, my wife for someone that did not know what a DIRT modified was when we met who puts up with my long hours at the track and at the shop I couldn’t ask for anyone better, and lastly I want to thank my Mom & Dad for everything they have done for me.”

“I look forward to the 2015 season and many years to come after that at the Fonda Speedway.”

For more information about the upcoming 2015 season at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway you can go to their website www.fondaspeedway.com